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BENEFITS OF LEISURE TOURISM.

Tourism is a broad industry with a number of sectors including wildlife and nature, culture, community, historical sites and Leisure.

The country bennefits mostly from Leisure tourism it being the number one activity ugandans are good at!

Well Leisure tourism has continued to advance in Uganda over time,with a number of exotic activities being introoduced in the Ugandan Tourism industry.

However these are not just leisure activities to be enjoyed and left to that,they help alot in the functionality of the human body.

below are a few activities to be enjoyed in Uganda under Leisure tourism.

HIKING:

As much as it might seem aimless and tiresome to you,but hiking is more than just a walk, leave alone sightseeing as you trek on, hiking increases the body metabolism,and accelerates your heartbeat,leaving your body healthy and cholestrol free.

Hiking also helps release stress,as you listen to the sweet sounds of nature,watching the birds sore into the air worry free.a wise man always said nature heals.

WALL CLIMBING:

The wall is built in a way that provides the participant with patches and sometime holes where they grip themselves as they take on the challenge, it helps in exercising the body, releasing stress, and concentration.

PAINT BALLING/TARGET RANGE SHOOTING:

During this particular activity, the participant, focuses their energy on the target.it is a great activity to take on if you have been under a lot of pressure, with work demand, it helps you let go of the options and focus on a sole goal, and un till you shoot at it, there is nothing else you can focus on.

SACK RACING:

It might sound childish, to have both your legs dressed in a sack and running around like a nursery child, but it is one way to release a reasonable amount of cholesterol from the body.

tests your competing spirit and creativity.

OMWEESO:

It uses a board with holes and beads.locally coffee was used for this particular game.

Just like chess, Omweeso is a mind game,usually acompanied by refreshments under the evening sky, it is agreat way to get to know eachother and interact better.

ZIPLINING:

The first time i went zip-lining at Sky-bliss Kikoni, taking on a 150(metre) line,i thought i had seen it all, until i was challenged with a 300(metre)zip-line at Forest park Buloba.

Forest Park is a cozy recreational centre off Mityaana-fortportal road, in a village called kiwumu,6km (10minutes)from Busega.

the recreational centre stretches on alarge piece of land,which makes a number of activities like,hiking,bird watching,(crested cranes and egyptian geese) possible.

Not forgetting the amazing egyptian scultures, which they say symbolizes beauty and good for historical archives.

The place owns a man made lake, on which kayaking and boat peddling is possible under supervision,not forgetting sports like boat racing and fishing.

Above the man made lake is. a 300 metre zipline that i had to take on after taking on an obstacle course.

Zip-lining is always put after the obstacle courses because it signifies the bliss after conquering challenges in any given course.

As blissfull as it maybe,it is still not a joking subject.

my instructor, Mukimbili Noah,first offered me a head gear before he started explaining the benefits of Ziplining,he said, as much as many people are nervouse about the idea of ziplining, some thinking they might throw up in the process, zip-lining to him is still one of the top notch activities!

BENEFITS OF ZIP-LINING

The obstacle courses at the beginning of the zip-lining challenge, are a test of bravery, they help the participant exercise their bodies keeping them healthy and physically fit.

It helps the participant to fight their fears, especially for individuals with height phobia.

SAFETY:

In a place like Forest park Buloba, Noah says they forts have to offer the participant a disclaimer form,which helps you out line your health isuues.

Pregnant women are not allowed to zipline aswell as people with pressure illness.

He continues to ascertain that they first have to do a thorough weight check on the participant because the zip-line has some limited kilograms it carries.

All that said he introduced a harness to me as one of the safety gears meant to keep me safe up there,

The harness has two carribinos, which the participant uses to hook them selves on the safety wires as they climb up.

before you start climbing, you have to make sure your carribinos are loose enough to help you grip and un grip them easily.

Once you reach the zip-line, the next thing is to attach your carribinos to a pully and make sure the notes are properly tied.yeah you have to double check that!

Take your time to let go and let your self free.

MY EXPERIENCE:

My experience enjoying leisure activities at Buloba Forest park.

For over 3 minutes i couldn’t believe i was going to be literally floating on top on the water body, it looked like direct suicide.said a number of prayers and even sent greetings to my family through my camera man!

But i had come so far to get here, some how i had to conquer my fear and let go, so i dit it, first i sat dangling in the air with a million thoughts, and then i let go.

Before i reached the middle of the Zip-line i had lost all my fears, and up there is where i wanted to stay, it was like swimming through the air, literally below me laid a water body.

And thats how i conquered my fear of heights.Looking forward to a longer Zip-line, this time in mabira Forest i guess!

However the list of leisure activities in Uganda is endless.

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MAFIA STATE V

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I am not trying to play saint here,but my intentions to join the political arena were completely different from those of my predecessors.

The opposition had spent years and years claiming to be in a ‘struggle’ to over throw a ‘dictator’,what they didn’t realize was that they were upcoming dictators in the making.

Each term new political parties sprouted with the same agenda to over throw a tyrant,but they were I guess too proud to sit on a round table and come up with one opposition candidate.

Everyone wanted to be independent’ everyone thought they had the best vision for the country but the wanainch had seen it all,each compaign candidates came and promised them heaven but turned around and didn’t look back untill the next general election.

My colleagues thought I wanted to dine with the pacemakers on their dinner table as they discussed issues that would help the poor.

Their state cars were always serviced using the tax payers money,prepared meetings in glamorous hotels in the city, before the discussions would start,their tables would be served with starters and drinks,and as the discussions went on a buffet would be served with a classy menue,spanish omlets,fried fish,french flies,local luwombo name it,all they had to do was point and they would be served.

It didn’t matter whether they had discussed aslong as their signature appeared on the attendance list,they would be sure of a heavy ‘envelope'(facilitation for attendance) immediately after the desert.

And so they would drive back home,with heavy stomachs and too tired to give feedback to the crowds they represented!

They splashed mud upon their supporters every morning as they rushed to grab a front seat in the discussion room throwing some of the road with their deafening sirens.

I wanted change,I wanted a leveled ground for every individual,I hoped many young people wouldn’t have to make wrong decisions like I had because they had no option,I hoped young people would be sure to get jobs after graduation regardless of their tribes and social standards.

If a few people would earn wealth from cannabis,why not everyone, of course I wanted to legalize cannabis with regulated usage,after all something is only evil if it has been restricted.I believed people would heed to sensitizations we would give and everyone would benefit.

I guess you are wondering how I got here,how I ended up like this.

It all started 35 years ago…..

MAFIA STATE IV

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For the following few weeks,news of the untimely death of the patriotic officer Mr. Opolot circulated all media stations,investigations were carried out,posters of the fugitives  according to ‘eye-witnesses’displayed in different newspapers, different individuals were parraded before the public, claiming their appearances suited those of the sketches the police had been searching for.

I watched the pedestrians gazing at the headlines of the news papers,by the roadsides each morning as I headed to school,and in the evening,I would put on my dark blue hood,to supply cannabis to my loyal customers.

For a moment the clubs seemed to be in a free world , Aphande Opolot,was now out of the picture,there was no one to monitor the clubs!

After a month of investigations and endless interrogations of ‘would be culprits’my attention was caught by an overwhelming huge number of newspaper spectators one morning as I was heading to school,leening closer to check,i was startled by a broad headline in almost all the news paper on display,”CITY TYCOON DISPLACES RESIDENTS OF NAMEERE DIVISION WITHOUT NOTICE!”

I bought my self a copy and packed it my bag.

Later that day as I sat at the school cafeteria, I read about a city tycoon who had destroyed over 1000 homes of residents who he claimed were on his land illegally.

He had development plans to put on the piece of land and so he wanted them off immediately.

Tormenting images of young children and helpless women rolling on the ground begging for help as tractors graded their homes.

The area member of parliament was no where to be seen in that sagga, apparently he had joined his party for a two weeks retreat.

And that’s how the case of the murdered officer was abandoned by the press.

The public was concerned with the current developing story,as the helpless residents ran to court to plead for justice.

The government offered them tents that had been donated by the human rights body UNHCR and a lawyer to defend them,and the court hearings started.

His majesty the judge took it upon him to survey the land,along with lawyers from both sides,he demanded to see the land titles on which these individuals had acquired plots of land,and they looked angaz.

“the original copies were destroyed in the demolition of our houses” they claimed and as much as their excuses sounded reasonable, the judge didn’t seem to buy it.

He set a date for the final verdict and left the ruins.

A few weeks later the city tycoon was found innocent and the residents found guilty of illegal acquisition of land,they were given a month to leave the land and no compensation for the destroyed properties!

MAFIA STATE III

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Once you get your self entangled in the drug Cartel business,there is no way to cut loose and still keep your breath,it is a life time commitment,I had not thought about that when I gladly jumped into the truck like a hungry dog that had just been offered a fresh bone.

Money was dangled in my face and the poverty I had witnessed growing up pushed me to accept without reading the terms and conditions.

The Inspector general of police,Mr.Kaleekyezi was the model of society,many young people looked up to him,they loved how he vowed to fight crime on television and radios!

I was caught between emmotions, perplexed at the idea of him being the master mind still in the illegal business.

“the rules will change a little young man,” he started as he got closer to where I stood.

“the artists help alot in distribution of these goods,in concerts they throw abroad and inland”he continued.

“your duty will be supplying to them and making sure they pay!”he said finally gazing into my red eyes.

“Omar you will handle our other clients!”he said as he turned away to leave.

The officer who had brought us here came back after Mr. Kaleekyezi had left the room and blind folded us again,the next time my eyes were opened I was at my doorway with a bag of what I supposed would be the goods.

I went to bed that night with a lot on my mind, I had no clue on how I was supposed to handle my new world,I pondered and pondered untill angels came and carried me off to slumber land.

By 7:00am I was up,my sleep was interrupted by concerned whispers of my neighbors,living in the ghetto,we had no boundaries.

I turned on my medium sized sony television,and I was startled by the overwhelmingly sad news of the passing of Aphande Opolot,he had been murdered in cold blood,a few minutes away from his home.

Saddening images of the patriotic officer laying in a pool of his own blood circulated all the local TV stations.

A few months back he had bragged about how he was so close to finding the leaders of the drug cartels in the city!

His office had been raided,and apparently all the proof had been destroyed.

As the Inspector general of police,it was officer Kaleekyezis’ duty to address the nation about the demise of his colleague.He vowed to to get to the bottom of the case,find the murderers who had taken the life of a great officer,and also make sure he completes his unfinished cases.

And I knew those were only but make beliefs…

MAFIA STATE II

I had worked for them back then in my twenties,some I had not met in person,but I knew they held some of the most juicy seats in the government!

15 years ago Omar hooked me up for a gig at the boarder of Uganda and Congo,”this could change your entire life” he had said gently tapping me on the shoulders.

“But listen to me,this is not going to be the same as our usual gigs”he had continued,staring me straight into the eyes with a freezing glare,

I was used to my usual job as a carrier, literally all I did was collect cannabis from Omar,who had never been open about his sources,he knew the suppliers and I knew the clients,

He would wait for me silently at the entrance of Club silk,sometimes Ansenua,and cunningly slide the goods in the jacket, without alerting,the security officials, Aphande Opolot was a no no sense officer,didn’t own a car except for his old fashioned ‘lundaaganya’ but he never compromised his values for anything,”I swore to keep law and order!” He would say each time a culprit fell into his hands,

We woukd never risk falling into his hands!

Backstage I would meet with the ‘Black Angels’they were dancers,but they could never get on stage without sniffing some Marijuana or Cannabis,they said it gave them confidence! It didn’t matter to me, as long as I received the payment,back at my rental in Kamwookya, I would meet up with Omar and get my share,and life moved on!

This time around,Omar had upgraded me, I guess I had impressed him somehow,

We arrived at the boarder at midnight,it was too dark and cold,the check points had been abandoned earlier and except the Fuso on the other end of the boarder,it was just us,our partner had brought help and in a few minutes they had loaded our truck with boxes of biscuits,Omar handed the man in the black hood a bag of which I assumed was the payment of our goods.

We set off back to Kampala, quietly except for the freezing hisses Omar made as he smoked his tobbaco pipe,he didn’t say much to me along the way.

After a two hours drive, we ran into a road block,the officers stopped us, confidently,Omar jumped out of the truck and started explaining to the officer the goods we were carrying,he told him,they were only biscuits,but unsatisfied the officer insisted on testing the biscuits,thats when I saw Omar smile for the first time,he pulled the officer aside and offered him kintu kidoogo,Aphande however insisted his commission be added,all along my face was sweating,I could not imagine myself behind bars before I completed University,Papa had a lot of hope in me,soon the officer agreed on taking what Omar had offered him, and I couldn’t believe we were back on the road,I kept staring at Omar speechlessly untill we fell into another roadblock, apparently Omar too didn’t know the officers on the road,I could tell by the perplexed look on his face,

“young man, are you smuggling goods?”he asked with a stunning glance, my knees couldn’t stop dancing to the rythm of Awilo longomba,

“let me take these ones to the headquarters”he said to the rest of the crew as he jumped into our truck and whisked us to a destination I had no clue about,at the outskirts of the city,it seemed like a ware house, when they removed the clothes he had blindfolded us with so as we don’t tell where he had taken us!

“Omar can we trust him?” Came a familiar voice,I had heard of it several times at press briefings on the Television,it was the inspector General of police,he was the drug lord!…..

MAFIA STATE

“the more power you acquire,the more untouchable you become”it’s the rule of the game,I sat with my tobbaco pipe in the shade of the Muvule tree behind my compound,I almost had everything figured out before I formed a Resistance movement against the junta government,that had robbed the public of it’s fundamental rights,public service was only but a theological institution, everyone seemed to campaign with the intention of satisfying their own hunger, probably they thought,”once I get satisfied,I will share with my supporters”but apparently the more they feasted on the taxi payers money,the more they wanted more,power is obsessive in nature,so they clung on their seats each new term promising better service,but still nothing was put in practice,

growing up in the town of Kanoni,we used to anticipate the day of elections,we believed in democracy,before the book of governance,the constitution was tampered with for the sake of those who never wanted to let go of their positions in the government,”more time will help us do the work better”so they said

Procrastination of present duties became the order of the day,ministries made illusional budgets for projects that only received a quarter of the whole budget,the incharge wanted to earn something too.

I pondered about the time still, when I had to pick my national documents from a one public service offices.

To make it early I woke up at 5:00am and by 6:30am I was at the office,even though I had woken up early, I couldn’t help but wait in line,they were too many of us! the officials kept passing by until midday, each time bringing someone who had arrived after the rest of the people in the line,I had met an officer at the entrance who had promised to help me get service quickly in exchange for kintu kidoogo,he signaled at me to leave the line and go where he stood,I knew it was my chance to leave as soon as possible,but i couldn’t do it, my conscious couldn’t let me,I looked at everyone in the line, tired and weary some hungry and sweating and I couldn’t do it,after a while fortunately my name was read, and as I made my way to his desk,he kept smiling,softly he whispered to me”those were the bosses’ relatives we were working on all along,we would risk getting fired if we had not worked on them immediately”  i went back home that day with a heavy heart,pondering about how people in high positions had taken advantage of the less privileged at the expence of their recklessness.

I had ‘lost the election’so the chairman of the electoral commission had announced on the national Television,and apparently I could feel the choking breeze of disapointment,all over the country,there were no celebrations even the winning party was not contented with their victory I guess!the previous elections had been boycotted,presiding officers sat with their ballot papers and in some areas not a soul dared to appear at the polling stations, people had lost hope!

My heart sunk deeper as I remembered all the innocent wanainch who had given up their lives hoping for change,imagined the pain in their families as I reckoned on the wailing voices of the unending woes at each funeral I had attended during the days of ‘struggle’ I had no explanation to give to their loved ones!

Everyone knew my story,the ghetto youth who had channeled his life from the life of drug cartels to an upright man of stature,

In the ghetto, youth smoke marijuana out of despire, it helps them meditate so they say,some are just addicted,but there are drug lords the ones whose wealth cannot be accounted for!

To be continued.

MASKED

Strength,to some people is the only option,life puts them in a corner that their only escape is to come out stronger.

Some people are lucky to have others to defend them when things go wrong,but others,do not have that one person,or family to run to incase things go wrong,so they choose to mask their fears in a fearless mask,when in actual sense what they are hiding in there is the fear of uncertainty.

People are scared of being disappointed,’what if I put myself out there and they ignored me?’ so they choose the safe haven, act tough so that people will think you have it all under control,but in actual sense you don’t,you just can’t let them see,

Allowing your self to be vulnerable is the greatest kind of strength, because then,you allow the other party to see how wounded you are,how you don’t have it all figured out,you accept help,you accept love.

Denying vulnerability is locking your self in the world of pride,and as long as you feel safe that no one knows how broken you are,the truth is you destroy your self instead.

Allowing others see that you are just another broken human, trying to be better,helps you avoid pride led decisions,un accessed conclusions.

Every one breaks down. Sometime, it’s okay to be vulnerable for a while..

It gets easier with time!

Some times the heart gets too heavy to the point that even waking up feels impossible even though staying in bed still hurts bad,the heart break consumes your physical body too,its nolonger emmotions,now the chest hurts too,in a moment like that,no amount of motivation can help heal,you only need to let the time take its course.

They say traveling doesn’t mean you don’t carry your problems with you,but it helps to give you a different perspective, sometimes wallowing in self pity without leaving the environment that tourments us only causes more torture,pain that makes taking a stroll feel so heavy!

The pain might not go away on getting on a bus and change your location,but it surely will with time,as you get to understand, perhaps there are other people in worse situations than you are, perharps there is another chance out there for you,just maybe!

it won’t happen immediately but definitely with time!

OBOKOKWER; Acholi pride

obokokwer.

You might mistake them for dried passion fruits,if you found them in a grocery store,but an Acholi, will definately see sauce!

The Acholi people, natively located in the northen part of Uganda, are one of the culturally rich people,ranging from cultural dances to staple foods.

According to the songs of Lawino, you most probably will already know they are a strong group of people, thriving on hunting and literature!

Just like their cultural dances, the Acholi are also endowed with a variety of staple foods, each amazingly delicious!

We could talk about, Ngor,which looks more like cow peas,Odi,and so much more but sarah, a chef at Roots camping site insisted we focus on her favorite! Obokokwer!

Depending on how you want to cook,your Obokokwer,whether with silver fish,tilapia,Bush meat or on its own,the size in which you break your obokokwer matters!

In the garden, it grows so close to the ground just like pumpkins, but once its ready to harvest, its seeds are separated from the cover and dried separately, the two make different sauces!

During preparation of pure Obokokwer, there is need to add rock salt, as it acts as a catalyst in how fast this sauce gets ready! actually most of the Acholi sauces its mandatory to add a little bit of rock salt in it.

unlike what the rest of the world thinks, Africa has always been technologically advanced!,before the era of iron smelting, before saucepans were discovered, most of the African dishes were prepared in a pot,moulded from clay, it gave anything kept and cooked in it one of the sweetest smokey aromas!

While preparing your obokokwer in a pot, once its on fire, you will need, to add water first, and let it boil for about 15minutes! slowly add your sliced pieces of Obokokwer and rock salt then let it boil, for about 20minutes!now is ready for the ingredients to be added, like tomatoes onions and salt, let it boil until the tomatoes are read then put the pot off the fire!

After adding a little bit of Moya, which is shear butter, that sometimes the elders in the Acholi land use to smear new born babies to give them smooth skins, this sauce is best served with Karo, which is posho made from cassava flour!